Tumakuru: A two and a half year old baby became the latest victim of a maneater leopard that has been terrorising villages in three taluks of Tumakuru district in Karnataka.
The baby, Chandana, was playing in the front yard of her father’s farmhouse in Bychanahalli village in Tumakuru taluk, and chanced upon the leopard as it was stalking her pet dog.
The incident took place at around 8 pm. The leopard mauled her and dragged her away from the farmhouse. Her mutilated body was found 150 m away.
Soon after the incident, Tumkuru deputy conservator of forests Girish sought permission from the state’s principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Sanjay Mohan to shoot four leopards that have been seen in the area.
This afternoon, Karnataka’s forest minister Anand Singh visited the farmhouse and said the government would issue orders to shoot leopards in the region.
There have been three previous leopard attacks on humans in this part of Tumakuru. These recent attacks took place at Doddamalalawadi village in Kunigal taluk, Manikuppe village in Gubbi taluk, and in Bannikuppe village in Tumakuru range.
After those incidents, the forest department set up camera traps in the region and found four different leopards were moving around.
The region where the leopards have been prowling straddles three taluks: Tumakuru, Gubbi and Kunigal. Forest officials said they have been trying to identify the leopards and capture them. However, attacks on human beings were recurring at regular intervals.
“We do not know which of the four is a maneater and have sought permission to shoot them all,” a senior forest official told Deccan Chronicle.